As the temperature drops and the icy southerly winds start to blow, the battle for healthy skin begins. Cold, dry winter air can take away the thin layer of oil which helps retain moisture in your skin and assists in preventing dry itchy conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, which often flare up at this time of year.
Dry, flaky, irritated skin does not have to be your reality this winter, here are five tips to save your skin this winter.
1. H.W.C – Handle With Care
Whether you have sensitive skin or not, your skin is delicate! Every day you are exposed to environmental factors that can damage your skin, so it is important you are aware of what is in the products you choose to put on your skin, so you are not compounding this by using harmful skincare products.
Natural and organic skincare products are more popular than ever as people are becoming more aware of what goes into some products and the damaging effects these ingredients can have.
Skincare products which use natural and organic ingredients ensure what you are putting on your skin is doing good things for you. When looking for a natural and/or organic skincare range, look for a brand which is certified by an accredited third party to ensure you are getting what is advertised. Some recognised accreditors are; BioGrow – New Zealand’s leading organic certifier, USDA Organic – United States Department of Agriculture or BDIH – German agency which regulates natural ingredients.
Check out our range of BioGro certified natural and organic products here
2. Stay Hydrated
You are always hearing this for one simple reason, it’s true! Skin loves and needs hydration. Your skin is your biggest organ which means you need to nourish it from the inside as well as out to keep it looking hydrated, plump and glowing.
Hydration from the inside is key to helping keep your skin looking radiant and the best way to hydrate is by drinking plenty of water, even herbal teas help as a warm hydrating winter drink.
Drinking plenty of fluids also help to flush out harmful substances preventing them from being excreted through your skin, where they can cause blocked pores, blackheads and sometimes leave permanent damage.
Along with fluid intake, what you eat plays a critical role in how your skin behaves.
Eat ‘real’ and ‘whole’ foods as often as you can – foods which are as they come in nature, not processed. These foods contain higher amounts of vitamins and nutrients which promote healthy skin.
This winter try eat foods high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to help fight winter illnesses and it is also a key vitamin for your skin as it helps combat free radical damage, which contributes to the signs of ageing and wrinkles. Vitamin C rich foods which are in season now through to early spring include citrus such as mandarins and grapefruit, kiwi fruit, kale, brussels sprouts and broccoli.
Healthy skin also needs and loves fat, the healthy fats of course. Fats such as Omega 3 are particularly useful for maintaining the thin layer of oil which helps your skin retain moisture keeping it healthy. Foods with high levels of Omega 3 include chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and oily fish such as sardines or salmon.
4. Avoid Long Hot Showers
We’ve all been guilty of it: standing in a hot shower on a cold day because it feels so amazing. Sadly, a steaming hot shower is not so amazing for your skin as too much hot water can dry out your skin. Try taking a warm shower and keep shower time as brief as possible, your skin (and electricity bill) will thank you for it.
After showering, gently pat dry to avoid over drying. Finally, moisturise while your skin is still damp which helps to lock that surface moisture onto your skin.
5. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is when you use a soft bristle brush to brush your skin of your body. This technique can be done all year round but is particularly beneficial during the winter months as it increases blood flow and exfoliates dead skin cells.
The best dry brushing technique is to brush in a small circular motion, slowly moving towards your heart. After brushing, apply rich moisturiser or nourishing oils from top to toe. Dry brushing is only recommended for the thicker skin on your body, so be careful to avoid your face.